Turlock Teen Dies in Patterson Bike Park Accident

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Turlock native Stephen Gugel, 19, a 2012 Pitman High School graduate, passed away early yesterday morning following a Thursday accident at the Patterson bike park.

The Stanislaus County Coroner's Office says the cause of death is undetermined at this time, however it is believed Gugel died from internal bleeding or injuries that resulted following an impact to his abdominal area. It is believed that Gugel's bike handlebars hit his abdomen during a hard fall.

Following the accident Gugel was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he passed away at 4:03 a.m.

The Patterson City Manager’s office had no comment on the incident.

Matt Nascimento, owner of Downtown Turlock's Bike Works, knew Gugel well and says he was well known in the area’s BMX community.

“He is known as a very genuine, kind guy,” Nascimento said. “He was a friend to everybody, a great equalizer. This is a real bummer; he was such a cool kid, came from a great family and had good roots. When he lived here in Turlock he was always around here (at Bike Works) and I’m really going to miss him and so are a lot of people.”

Nascimento says friends of Gugel are welcome to come to the shop and remember his life.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as of Friday.

Comments 11

  1. Traci says:

    It’s always sad when a young person dies but even more sad when they are from our small town of Turlock. I have two boys, one who enjoys the skate-park and we know there are risks involved in these sports but they love doing what they do!… ~ I’m sorry for the family, my heart and prayers go out to them. 🙁

  2. jerry keckler says:

    The patterson city council was bullied into allowing bikes on this park. Two parents of boys who ride bmx bikes threatened to sue the city of patterson if bikes werent included to use it. The designer of the park explicitely said that park was not designed for bikes. The parents said they would accept the responsibility for a few broken bones. What about someones death.

  3. Denise Soria says:

    My love and compassion go out to Stephen’s family. May your friends and community be encouraging and inspiring, collaborating creatively while you find your way through this tragedy

  4. Pam Galley says:

    A great young man from a wonderful family that has blessed my life. Prayers to the family during this difficult time.

  5. Greta says:

    Looks like Jerry Keckler will be on the witness stand

  6. Chris Essary says:

    Probably not the right place to bring this up Jerry. It is not the time or place for politics. Its a very sad day for Stephen’s family and friends. He was indeed a great young man and the pain is palpable among his friends. Sympathies to the Gugel Family and his BMX crew from the Essary Family.

  7. Kurt says:

    In response to Jerry.
    I’m a professional bike rider. All skate/bike parks are inherently built to be used by anything with wheels, that includes skateboards, bikes, rollerblades, scooters, etc. Skateparks originate from skaters and bikers riding backyard pools that were drained. So, anything with a transition or usable surface has both skate and bikes in mind. Anyone who says otherwise is either uniformed or a liar.
    Prayers to his family.

  8. Chris says:

    I knew Gugel and rode bmx with him before. I just found out about this yesterday. Rest In Paradise Stephen, we all love you.

  9. What a heart breaking thing to happen. Mashelle we send you all our love and sincere condolances.

    [img]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c145/solekat205/craptasticblackbelt.jpg[/img]

  10. Elise says:

    It is very tragic what happened. I hope kids will learn from this horrible accident and follow the rules and regulations of the park and wear a helmet (you will see once the official word comes out). I pray for peace in the hearts of his family. And please…encourage anyone who rides a skateboard/bike/scooter/etc to wear a helmet.
    Kurt/Jerry: http://www.pattersonirrigator.com/view/full_story/15282842/article-BMX-bikers-to-fight-exclusion-from-Skate-Park

  11. nancy says:

    Sounds like a helmet would have been no help since his injuries were to his abdomen.

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